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Studies in Australian History – Week Eleven

19 October, 2013

This week? Where has this week gone?

Our history focus this week has been Land Exploration in the early 1800s, so in Our Sunburnt Country we’ve been reading about Hovell and Hume as well as Evans and Oxley. In Australian Backyard Explorer we’ve been reading about food – food explorers took, food they tired, the problems they faced and we wrote lists of the food and food-finding supplies we’d take on an expedition. We also did a project – cooking damper.


I was excited to have a new book arrive this week.

20131018-111145.jpgI’m the only one who has browsed through so far but it looks to be a great resource, and is up to date to the point of talking about Julia Gillard as the first female prime minister and then being “thrown out” by Kevin Rudd in the lead up to the election. I look forward to incorporating it into our history studies.

With our new Tuesday to Saturday weekly plan, I’ll probably start posting this series on a Saturday, at least sometimes. If I’d posted Friday this week you would have missed out on our excursion.

Saturday we had the plan to visit The Mint and Hyde Park Barracks. In the lead up, we discovered the Justice and Police Museum was only open weekends, and was on our route anyway, so we added that to our agenda. Unfortunately our careful planning failed to notice that The Mint isn’t open on weekends. Enter an impromptu visit to the Anzac Memorial.


I have no idea what was in there. I stayed down at the pool of reflection with the younger two, as the steps aren’t exactly pram friendly.

Next was our visit to Hyde Park Barracks Museum. It was actually a lot more interesting and had a lot more to see and do than I had anticipated, so that was a bonus.

Even outside the museum (which is in the courtyard but free to access) was interesting.

Once inside, we waved our new Sydney Living Museums Annual Passes and discovered they had a “children’s trail” of things to find and investigate.


20131019-134501.jpg I really enjoyed the architecture – the building was designed by convict architect Francis Greenway and the building (along with many many others down Macquarie Street) were commissioned by Governor Lachlan Macquarie.

This was a building built to house convicts, and yet so much beauty and attention to detail.

There was so much to see and experience. I think it helped to bring the convict experience to life.


20131019-135038.jpg The building also revealed its multiple uses over the years. Mark was quite taken by this sign.

After we explored the Barracks and stopped in the Botanic Gardens for lunch, we visited the Justice and Police Museum. It was more relevant to our studies than I had expected (I just figured we got free entry and since it was only open on weekends we may as well check it out while we could). It had a room all about bushrangers (which we will learn about soon), information about the First Settlers and Aboriginal peoples and how they managed Justice and punishment as well as just being plain interesting.


I also had some fun playing with some camera filters in the camera app to recreate that historic feeling.


The Justice and Police Museum also had a children’s trail which they enjoyed and got a little prize (a sticker) at the end, as well as the opportunity to be fingerprinted.

And every time we come home with a new book is a good day. 20131019-141012.jpg

We had a great time at the museums and I’m hoping to get back to them again, maybe without children so *I* can have a better look.

Or maybe I’ll just leave them locked up ;-).

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